CLICK HERE TO REPORT LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRUPTION (Provide as much information as possible: full names, descriptions, dates, times, activity, witnesses, etc.)

Telephone: 347-632-9775

Friday, May 2, 2008

Former Boston police officer pleads guilty in drug case

Prosecutors said picture showed Ortiz collecting a debt for drug dealers.
The Boston Globe by Jonathan Saltzman - April 29, 2008

A former Boston police officer pleaded guilty today to federal charges that he conspired to extort $265,000 on behalf of drug dealers while in uniform and threatened to kill the man who supposedly owed them the cash. Jose A. "Flaco" Ortiz, 45, formerly of Salem, also admitted in US District Court in Boston that he participated in a related scheme to distribute cocaine he obtained from the victim. In brief and barely audible remarks in court, he denied personally threatening the victim but said he relayed warnings from Colombian drug dealers that the victim "might be in some kind of danger" if the man did not pay the debt. Ortiz, who spent 21 years on the force before his firing last May, is the fifth officer to plead guilty to federal charges since September. All the cases, including one involving three officers, revolved around drugs. He could spend the rest of his life in prison if US District Judge Rya W. Zobel issues the harshest possible sentence. But federal prosecutors are recommending a prison term of 11 to 14 years because Ortiz has admitted his guilt and waived his right to appeal, if he receives the lighter sentence.

"It's not a happy day for law enforcement" when a police officer pleads guilty to a crime, First Assistant US Attorney Michael K. Loucks said after the hearing, which was handled by another prosecutor. But Loucks praised Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis for helping federal authorities pursue cases of police corruption. ``No matter what organization, there are always going to be people who commit crimes,'' Loucks said. Ortiz's lawyer, Scott A. Lutes, of Providence, R.I., said his client changed his plea because he wanted to take responsibility for his misdeeds. "He candidly admits his guilt and feels terrible about it," said Lutes.

No comments: